[Vision2020] 050605 Washington Post [Lead in] Merck CEO Resigns as Drug Probe Continues

Art Deco deco at moscow.com
Fri May 6 07:46:36 PDT 2005

Merck CEO Resigns as Drug Probe Continues
House Panel Critical Of Vioxx Sales Tactics

By Marc Kaufman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, May 6, 2005; Page A01 

Merck & Co.'s longtime leader Raymond V. Gilmartin abruptly resigned yesterday on the same day congressional investigators released a slew of documents detailing how the company continued to aggressively promote its arthritis drug Vioxx after it knew of potentially serious safety concerns.

The documents made public by the House Committee on Government Reform showed that Merck directed its 3,000-person Vioxx sales force to avoid discussions with doctors about the cardiovascular risks identified in a major clinical trial of the drug in 2000. Sales representatives were told instead to rely on a "Cardiovascular Card" that said Vioxx was protecting the heart rather than potentially harming it....
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